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the Trinity could be proved from the first Chapter of Genesis; but the Acculation was too ridiculous to be taken Notice of.
After this he passed successively through the Dignities of his Order, and in the Intervals of his Employment applied himself to his Studies with so extensive a Capacity, as left no Branch of Knowledge untouched. By him Acquependente, the great Anatomist, confeffes that he was informed how Vifion is performed ; and there are Proofs that he was not a Stranger to the Circulation of the Blood.
He frequently conversed upon Astronomy with Mathematicians, upon Anatomy with Surgeons, upon
Medicine with Physicians, and with Chemists upon the Analysis of Metals, not as a fuperficial Enquirer, but as a complete Master.
But the Hours of Repose, that he employed so well, were interrupted by a new Information in the Inquisition, where a former Acquaintance produced a Letter written by him in Cyphers, in which he said, that he detested the Court of Rome, and that
no Preferment was obtained there but by dishoneft i Means.' This Accufation, however dangerous, was passed over on Account of his great Reputation, but made such Impressions on that Court, that he was afterwards denied a Bishoprick by Clement VIII. After these Difficulties were furmounted, Father Paul again retired to his Solitude, where he appears, by some Writings drawn up by him at that Time, to have turned his Attention more to Improvements in Piety than Learning. Such was the Care with which he read the Scriptures, that, it being his Cuftom to draw a Line under any Pallage which he intended more nicely to consider, there was not a fingle Word in his New Testament but was underlined ; the same Marks of Attention appeared in his Old Teftament, Pfalter, and Breviary.
But But the most active Scene of his Life began about the Year 1615, when Pope Paul V. exasperated by some Decrees of the Senate of Venice that interfered with the pretended Rights of the Church, laid the whole State under an Interdict.
The Senate, filled with Indignation at this Treatment, forbad the Bishops to receive or publish the Pope's Bull; and convening the Rectors of the Churches, commanded them to celebrate divine Service in the accustomed Manner, with which most of them readily complied; but the Jesuits and some others refusing, were by a solemn Edict expelled the State.
Both Parties having proceeded to Extremities, employed their ablest Writers to defend their Meafures : On the Pope's Side, among others, Cardinal Bellarmine entered the Lifts, and, with his confederate Authors, defended the Papal Claims with great Scurrility of Expression, and very sophistical Řeasonings, which were confuted by the Venetian Apologists in much more decent Language, and with much greater Solidity of Argument.
On this Occasion Father Paul was most eminently distinguished by his Defence of the Rights of the fiepreme Magistrate, his I reatise of Excommunication translated from Gerfon, with an Apology, and other Writings, for which he was cited before the Inquisition at Rome ; but it may be easily imagined that he did not obey the Summons.
The Venetian Writers, whatever might be the Abilities of their Adversaries, were at least fuperior to them in the Justice of their Cause. The Propofitions maintained on the side of Rome were there: That the Pope is invested with all the Authority of Heaven and Earth. That all Princes are his Vallals, and that he may annul their Laws at Pleasure. That Kings may appeal to him, as he is temporal Monarch of the whole Earth. That he can discharge
Subjects from their Oaths of Allegiance, and make it their Duty to take up Arms against their Sovereign, That he may depose Kings without any Fault committed by them, if the Good of the Church requires it.' That the Clergy are exempt from all Tribute to Kings, and are not accountable to them even in Cafes of High Treason. That the Pope cannot err; that his Decisions are to be received and obeyed on Pain of Sin, though all the World should judge them to be false. That the Pope is God upon Earth; that his Sentence and that of God are the fame, and that to call his Power in Question, is to call in Question the Power of God. Maxims equally fhocking, weak, pernicious, and absurd! which did not require the Abilities or Learning of Father Paul to demonstrate their Fallhood and destructive Ten. dency.
It may be easily imagined that such Principles were quickly overthrown, and that no Court but that of Rome thought it for its Interest to favour them. The Pope therefore finding his Authors confuted, and his Cause abandoned, was willing to conclude the Affair by Treaty, which, by the Mediation of Henry IV. of France, was accommodated upon Terms very much to the Honour of the Veo netians.
But the Defenders of the Venetian Rights were, though comprehended in the Treaty, excluded by the Romans from the Benefit of it; some upon dif. ferent Pretences were imprisoned, some sent to the Galleys, and all de barred from Preferment. But their Malice was chiefly aimed against Father Paul, who foon found the Effects of it; for as he was going one Night to his Convent, about fix Months after the Accommodation, he was attacked by five Ruffians armed with Stilettoes, who gave him no less than fifteen Stabs, three of which wounded him in such a Manner, that he was left for dead. The
Murderers fled for Refuge to the Nuncio, and were afterwards received into the Pope's Dominions, but were pursued by divine Justice, and all, except one Man who died in Prison, perished by violent Deaths.
This, and other Attempts upon his Life, obliged him to confine himself to his Convent, where he engaged in writing the History of the Council of Trent, a Work unequalled for the judicious Dispofition of the Matter, and artful Texture of the Narration, recommended by Dr. Burnet as the completelt Model of Historical Writing, and celebrated by Mr. Wotton as equivalent to any Production of Antiquity ; in which the Reader finds ' Liberty ' without Licentiousness, Piety without Hypocrisy, · Freedom of Speech without Neglect of Decency,
Severity without Rigour, and extensive Learning without Oftentation.'
In this, and other Works of less Consequence, he spent the remaining Part of his Life, to the Beginning of the Year 1622, when he was seized with a Cold and Fever, which he neglected till it became incurable. He languished more than twelve Months, which he spent almost wholly in a Preparation for his Passage into Eternity; and among his Prayers and Aspirations was often heard to repeat, 'Lord ! ' now let thy Servant depart in Peace.'
On Sunday the Eighth of January of the next Year, he rose, weak as he was, to Mass, and went to take his Repast with the reft; but on Monday was seized with a Weakness that threatened immediate Death ; and on Thursday prepared for his Change by receiving the Viaticum with such Marks of Devotion as equally melted and edificd the Beholders.
Through the whole Course of his Illness to the last Hour of his Life, he was consulted by the Senate in public Affairs, and returned Answers in his greatest Weakness, with such Presence of Mind, as could only arise from the Consciousness of Innocence.
On Saturday, the Day of his Death, he had the Passion of our blessed Saviour read to him out of St. John's Gospel, as on every other Day of that Week, and spoke of the Mercy of his Redeemer, and his Confidence in his Merits.
As his End evidently approached, the Brethren of the Convent came to pronounce the last Prayers, with which he could only join in his Thoughts, being able to pronounce no more than these Words, Efto perpetua, Mayft thou last for ever;' which was understood to be a Prayer for the Prosperity of his Country:
Thus died Father Paul, in the seventy-first Year of his Age; hated by the Romans as their most formidable Enemy, and honoured by all the Learned for his Abilities, and by the Good for his Integrity. His Detestation of the Corruption of the Roman Church appears in all his Writings, but particularly in this memorable Passage of one of his Letters : • There is nothing more essential than to ruin the
Reputation of the Jesuits : By the Ruin of the " Jesuits, Rome will be ruined ; and if Rome is ruined, Religion will reform of itself.'
He appears by many passages of his Life to have had a high Efteem of the Church of England ; and his Friend, Father Fulgentio, who had adopted all his Notions, made no Scruple of administering to Dr. Duncomb, an English Gentleman that fell fick at Venice, the Communion in both Kinds, according to the Common Prayer which he had with him in Italian.
He was buried with great Pomp at the Public Charge, and a magnificent Monument was erected to his Memorial,